MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The city of Minneapolis on Friday agree to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd’s family over the Black man’s death in police custody, even as jury selection continued in a former officer’s murder trial.
The Minneapolis City Council emerged from closed session Friday to announce the settlement, which includes $500,000 for the neighborhood where Floyd was arrested. Floyd family attorney Ben Crump called a news conference for 1 p.m.
Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a former officer who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.
Floyd’s family filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in July against the city, Chauvin and three other fired officers charged in his death. It alleged the officers violated Floyd’s rights when they restrained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jury selection continued Friday for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, even as the City Council was to meet privately to discuss a possible settlement of a civil lawsuit filed by Floyd’s family.
Attorney Ben Crump planned a 1 p.m. news conference alongside Floyd family members, but his office would not give details. City officials and some council members did not immediately respond to phone messages from The Associated Press.
Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after then-Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against the Black man’s neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond, leading to a nationwide reckoning on race.
Floyd’s family filed a lawsuit last July against the city and the four officers charged in his death, alleging the officers violated Floyd’s rights when they restrained him and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.
The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and special damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. It also sought a receiver to be appointed to ensure that the city properly trains and supervises officers in the future.
Meanwhile, another potential juror was dismissed Friday after she acknowledged having a negative view of the defendant.
The woman, a recent college graduate, said she had seen bystander video of Floyd’s arrest and closely read news coverage of the case. In response to a jury pool questionnaire, she said she had a “somewhat negative” view of the officer, Derek Chauvin, and that she thought he held his knee to Floyd’s neck for too long.
“I could only watch part of the video, and from what I saw as a human, I, that did not give me a good impression,” she said. She said she did not watch the bystander video in its entirety because “I just couldn’t watch it anymore.”
The woman repeatedly said she could put aside her opinions and decide the case on the facts, but Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson nonetheless used one of his 15 challenges to dismiss her.
With jury selection in its fourth day, six people have been seated — five men and one woman. Three of those seated are white, one is multiracial, one is Hispanic and one is Black, according to Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill.
Cahill has set aside three weeks for jury selection, with opening statements no sooner than March 29.
Friday’s quick dismissal echoed others earlier in the case for similar reasons. On Thursday, one woman was dismissed after she said she “can’t unsee the video” of Chauvin pinning Floyd.
Nelson pressed the woman hard on whether she could be fair despite her strong opinions.
“Looking in your heart and looking in your mind can you assure us you can set all of that aside, all of that, and focus only on the evidence that is presented in this courtroom?” Nelson asked.
“I can assure you, but like you mentioned earlier, the video is going to be a big part of the evidence and there’s no changing my mind about that,” she replied.
Potential jurors’ identities are being protected and they are not shown on livestreamed video of the proceedings.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired. The others face an August trial on aiding and abetting charges. The defense hasn’t said whether Chauvin will testify in his own defense.